VT-x is not available Oracle Virtualbox Windows 10

This one stumped for for a while, I’m not going to lie.  VT-x was enabled inside the BIOS of my computer and it’s an i7-7700HQ which according to ark.intel.com supports VT-x.  Just the same, Oracle Virtualbox could not seem to start any VM I created giving me the following error:

VT-x is not available (VERR_VMX_NO_VMX).
Result Code: E_FAIL (0x80004005)
Component: ConsoleWrap
Interface: IConsole {872da645-4a9b-1727-bee2-5585105b9eed}

Some quick searching just tells me to enable VT-x in my BIOS….but it’s already enabled.  Other results talk about Hyper-V grabbing hold of the processor and not relinquishing control.  Advisement there is to use bcdedit to disable and then re-enable the hypervisor service.  I was desperate so why not right?  In that instance, you first set things to off and then back to on using bcdedit /set hypervisorlaunchtype off and then to auto.

Still no go.

After much head scratching with a pinch of teeth gnashing, I ran across an old support ticket on the Virtualbox ticketing system that showed the exact error I had (VT-x is not available).  The ticket referenced Avast Antivirus (which I run the free version of) as the cause.  I saw no way in which I could toggle “Enable Hardware-Assisted Virtualization” because that setting is not present in Avast Free (at least I couldn’t find it).

Uninstalled Avast Free.  Enabled Windows Defender.

The problem is now solved and VM’s now boot with no issues.  I wanted to record this here in case others had the same issue.  Avast Antivirus Free has this on by default and I couldn’t find a way to disable it and a 4 year old ticket submitted to virtualbox saves the day.

Cannot Create Scheduled Task Server 2003 R2

I hit a snag at work today while trying to create a scheduled task to run a batch file daily on a server.  The problem was after creating a scheduled task using the wizard, a popup displayed this:

The new task could not be created.
The specific error is:
0x80070005: Access is denied.
Try using the Task page Browse button to locate the application.

Of course, the task wasn’t created.  Googling around wasn’t much help…most of the stuff references Windows XP and a bunch of the results want you to go inside the registry.  I figured there must be a better way.  Something that all the posts had in common was saying that something had changed the permissions on the Windows Tasks directory.  So, I figured running CACLS to reset the permissions on that tasks directory should fix things.  I was right.  So this fix is MUCH simpler than all those forum posts and mailing lists posts said.

To fix:  Open up a command prompt and change directory to C:\WINDOWS.  Next issue the following command:

 CACLS Tasks /E /G builtin\administrators:F

it should echo back ‘processed dir: C\WINDOWS\Tasks’ and return you to a prompt.  After this, you should be able to schedule a task quite easily.  The skinny of this problem is that the tasks directory just gets its permissions wrong and you’re using CACLS to reset things.  Hope this helps someone out there!  It took me a couple hours to figure it out!

Security Group Membership without Powershell

I’m getting pretty used to powershell in my day to day workings with Exchange.  Today however, I was helping a user out on a PC in a different department and I needed to find all of the members of a specific security group.  Sure, I could remote back into my work PC and launch ADUC but I’d rather be able to query it with a single query…all from right there using her computer with the limited user account.

Thanks to powershell, I now think in pipes…while I’ve always done this with Linux, I’ve never had to do so with Windows.  It’s almost like wearing two caps at the same time.  Nonetheless, I was able to figure out how to do this after 3 or 4 attempts and then output it to a file so I could see members of the security group and I did so without the power of powershell (ba-dum-ching!)

I used dsquery and piped the command using dsget to grab the information I needed and then output that into a text file onto the desktop.  Important to note that you should open the command window using ‘run as’.  So in XP, browse to Start >> Programs >> Accessories and then right click ‘command prompt’ and ‘run as’ with elevated privileges.  You’ll need to be able to view the group you’re querying.  I used my own user since I’m a domain admin…you get the idea.  Once you have the command prompt, cd to Desktop so the text file will be easy to find.  Then initiate the following command:

dsquery group -name GroupName |dsget group -members |dsget user -display >memberlist.txt

Substitute for GroupName and put in the group you’re looking for.  Hopefully this helps out.